5 Ways to lease an apartment if you have bad credit.

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How to rent an apartment with bad credit is often a question on the minds of people with poor credit. Bad credit can present numerous challenges, one of which is qualifying for an apartment lease. Nonetheless, you can qualify for an apartment lease even if you have a less than perfect credit history. However, it will require a bit more work. Here are a few tips on how find an apartment if you are concerned about your credit.

Tip # 1 - Look for ads that include phrases such as “bad credit - no problem,“ “no credit check required“ or “poor credit OK.” Perform an online search for rental properties in your area. Since consumers often experience financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their control, some landlords will take applicants with bad credit as long as they meet other requirements. Such requirements might include a good rental history, no criminal history, no evictions or broken leases and a consistent source of income. You generally find this type of ads in local newspapers and on sites like craigslist.

However, searching online for an apartment exposes you to online rental property scams. If you are not working with a real estate agent, do not provide any personal information or put down a rental deposit until you research the property owner thoroughly. 

News reports indicate that scammers often place ads of rental properties that do not belong to them. The scammer generally requires a security deposit and the first month’s rent. Once the tenant finds out that he was scammed, it’s often too late to do anything about it.    

Tip #2 - Lease through a real estate agency or an apartment-locator service. Landlords and apartment managing companies often list their available units with these types of services. The advantage of enlisting help through these agencies is that the agent helping you would likely have knowledge of each client’s leasing guidelines. 

The agent could direct you to landlords who do not require a credit check or who might consider your personal circumstances. Choosing this option could save you time and money, as you would not lose money unnecessarily on application fees.

Tip #3 - Submit a letter explaining the reason for your bad credit. If you submit an application for an apartment lease and you are not sure of the qualifying guidelines, submit a letter along with your application. Some managing companies might consider the particular circumstances that lead to you having bad credit. 

Tip #4 - Consider a larger security deposit. The security deposit serves as a guarantee of payment to the landlord in case you leave without notice or cause damage to the property. Because landlords generally consider tenants with bad credit high risk, a larger deposit might tip the scales in your favor.

Tip #5 - Applicants with bad credit often need a co-signer. Your prospective landlord might request a co-signer. In case you become unable to pay your rent or miss rent payments, the landlord would expect such rent from your co-signer. 

The fact that you have bad credit does not have to prevent you from renting an apartment. You still have options. You can enlist the help of a real estate agency or apartment locator service. You can look for no-credit check ads in newspapers and online. Finally, you can offer to put down a larger security deposit as an incentive for the landlord to accept your application, or you can offer to get a co-signer. Regardless of the option you choose, show good faith throughout the application process by providing truthful information. Bad credit does not have to prevent you from qualifying for an apartment lease. 

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.